Man suffers severe hand injury in work accident

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A metal components manufacturer has been ordered to pay more than £19,000 in fines and costs after a worker suffered “life-changing injuries” when his hand became trapped in a machine.

The incident occurred last year at RSM Industries’ factory in Exhall as the 56-year-old agency worker was operating a 60-tonne power press.

Serious injury

Following the accident which left the man needing three-and-a-half fingers and half his palm amputated, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found guards on the machine were not correctly in place.

The man had his hand in the device removing finished pieces of metal when he accidentally started the machine by hitting the foot pedal, magistrates in Nuneaton heard.

The HSE investigation found that while the machine had newly-fitted guards, the safety interlock, which prevents the machine from operating when the guards are not fully closed, had not been correctly adjusted and set.

The fault had not been realised on 12 separate occasions despite daily checks by the company, the HSE said, saying the missed fault showed “a complete lack of diligence”.

The firm pleaded guilty to two breaches of health and safety regulations and was fined £8,000 with £11,300 costs.

HSE response

HSE principal inspector Sue Thompson said: “He spent 35 hours in surgery undergoing seven different operations and is now severely disabled with the loss of his dominant hand. He has not been able to return to work and is still receiving treatment.”

She described the workplace accident as “entirely preventable”, had the machine been thoroughly and adequately checked before use.

Work injuries claims

Figures show that incidents in which workers have been using machines lead to about a dozen deaths and 40,000 injuries each year.

If you have been hurt in an accident at work, you could be entitled to make a claim.

Get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline today – its claim form takes only 30 seconds to fill out.

Source: Coventry Telegraph

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